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British Fast5 All-stars Netball Championship Returns

The British Fast5 All-Stars Championship will return on to the Copper Box Arena with tickets on sale from midday on Monday, February 18 at tickets.englandnetball.co.uk

Featuring 12-minute matches, an all-star 5-point line and a Golden Buzzer Power Play, the British Fast5 Netball All-Stars Championship is an all-action afternoon of non-stop, pulsating netball.

Wasps have already qualified for the event as defending champions and will be joined by the top seven teams from the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague season. Teams have the opportunity to recruit two all-star players for the day, meaning international stars from around the world are set to be added to the line-up.

Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The British Fast5 Netball All-Stars Championship is already established as one of the most electrifying days in the domestic calendar. Last year we built on the success of the first Fast5 All-Stars in 2017 and the packed crowd at the Copper Box were treated to a brilliant afternoon of netball.

“The event is already attracting top international players, as seen in 2018 when the likes of Sharni Layton and Ash Brazill came over. With the World Cup taking place in Liverpool and the continued success of the Roses, it’s an exciting time for netball in the UK and we’re thrilled to be bringing the Fast All-Stars back to the Copper Box for what promises to be another great event in October.”

Joanna Adams, CEO of England Netball, said: “The British Fast5 All-Stars Championship is a must-see and must-attend event on the netball calendar.

“There’s always such a buzz as our fans can watch their favourite players – both Vitality Netball Superleague and international stars – competing at an iconic venue in one of the most entertaining formats of the game.

“Fast5 is always a fantastic spectacle of athleticism, flair and skill, and with the ever-increasing interest in netball, we’re delighted to be working with Matchroom Sport again for the third staging of this tournament.”

With tickets priced at £24 (bronze), £30 (silver) and £40 (gold) with courtside hospitality tickets available at £100. Under 16s receive 50% off tickets. Groups of 10 or more will receive 10% off.

Sam Bird - clivejonespr

Severn Stars look to bounce back against Surrey Storm

Severn Stars will look to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat when they take on Surrey Storm on Saturday (16 February).

The Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) side will be playing their second home game at the University of Gloucestershire Sports Arena (6pm centre pass), with another sell-out crowd expected.

Stars’ were left frustrated when they lost to Manchester Thunder at the University of Worcester Arena last Saturday (9 February) by 49-62. Head Coach, Sam Bird, has been working on a number of strategies during training this week to put in a successful performance in front of a home crowd.

Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, said: “We will be looking to expand the periods of very good play we put out against Manchester Thunder on Saturday. We have been working on our strategies to give ourselves the best chance to perform strongly against Storm and we are looking forward to the match.

“The last game at Gloucester was great in terms of the crowd being very close to the courtside and creating a great atmosphere for us to play in. We hope to use the home support to our advantage this week.”

Bird added: “Both teams have South African import players so will be familiar with the style of play and each other’s preferred way to play.”

The Severn Stars are a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire.

For tickets visit www.ticketline.co.uk/netball-superleague-severn-stars#bio.

Tickets are now available for the Vitality Netball Superleague Big Easter Weekend!

Make sure you’re following the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

Kim Commane 2019

Team Bath storm to emphatic win at Loughborough

Anna Stembridge has hailed Team Bath Netball’s biggest Vitality Superleague win of the 2019 season so far – Saturday’s 75-50 victory at Loughborough Lightning – as a “performance to be proud of”.

The Blue & Gold were dominant right across the court as they produced the perfect response to their disappointing home defeat to Surrey Storm in their previous game and moved level on points with Saracens Mavericks, who they visit in a televised fixture on Saturday (February 16, 6.30pm centre-pass).

“The girls really got their heads down after the Storm game and it was pleasing to see them respond like that, they put out a performance to be proud of,” said Team Bath Netball Superleague Head Coach Stembridge.

“Loughborough have had some personnel changes but they are still a really good side and the final scoreline doesn’t reflect what a well contested game it was.

“For me, what was most pleasing was the way we built throughout the match. It was quite close for the first ten minutes but once we found our feet, we really clicked into gear and finished the first quarter brilliantly to lead 22-12.

“They came back at us during the second period but it is important that we demonstrated we are comfortable when going goal for goal with a team and that was certainly the case on Saturday.

“We had a game plan that we stuck to for most of the game and we brought real intensity right across the court. We were relentless in defence as a team and we were slick in attack, displaying some really good ball speed.

“There was no sitting back on the lead either – we won all four quarters and maintained a high level of performance throughout, with the players who came off the bench – Leila Thomas for her debut, Mia Ritchie and Beryl Friday – all making an impact.”

Team Bath named the same starting seven that had lined up against Storm, with University of Bath student Chartie Curtis once again forming a good partnership with Summer Artman in defence.

Imogen Allison and captain Serena Guthrie continued to forge an excellent understanding just in front of the back two, breaking up play and linking brilliantly with the dynamic attacking trio of Rachel Shaw, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and Kim Commane.

Australian shooter Commane was in ruthless form as she converted 43 of her 45 shots as Team Bath continued to pull away, going 39-25 up at half-time and stretching their advantage to 56-37 in the third quarter before wrapping up an emphatic victory.

“Kim was sensational on Saturday, both in terms of creativity and her shooting,” Stembridge added. “A 96 per cent conversion rate is outstanding and she demonstrated great leadership at critical times as well.”

It was Team Bath’s third away win of the season and they will be looking to maintain that perfect record on the road when they visit the University of Essex to face fourth-placed Mavericks, who were edged out 54-50 by table-topping Wasps on Monday.

“There has always been a great rivalry between Team Bath and Mavericks over the years and some memorable matches,” said Stembridge.

“We have done our homework and will be looking to put out a well thought-out game plan for the full 60 minutes. Mavericks are creative and athletic in attack and are rangy and deceptive in defence, so we will have to be smart with our approach. We’re looking forward to the match, it should be a good contest.”

Team Bath’s next two home matches – against Wasps on February 22 and Manchester Thunder on March 1 – have sold out but tickets are available for the five other scheduled fixtures at the Team Bath Arena. Visit netball.teambath.com/fixtures for more information.

Tickets are now available for the Vitality Netball Superleague Big Easter Weekend!

Make sure you’re following the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

twitter-In-Stream_Wide___Sophia Candappa

Wasps Netball maintain unbeaten record

Wasps Netball came through a tough test with a 54-50 win against title challengers Saracens Mavericks.

Mel Mansfield’s team trailed in the second-quarter and resisted a late comeback from Mavericks to secure their fourth successive victory.

Sophia Candappa was named Player of the Match for the first time in her career.

Mansfield said: “We knew this was going to be our toughest test yet and it was exactly that.

“We’ve had strong third-quarters in each of our last three games and that shined through again.

“In training we have been working hard on our fitness levels and maintaining performance levels.

“When we took the lead in the third-quarter I didn’t feel like we were going to fall behind again.

“Having a tight game like this will be really good for us, the team will have learnt a lot about themselves tonight.”

George Fisher opened the scoring for the hosts on her return to Ricoh Arena but Katie Harris levelled the score within seconds.

A flying intercept from Hannah Knights proved an early highlight, as the home side built toward a six-goal lead.

Mavericks worked their back into the game with ease and were soon within one goal, through some strong play from Sasha Corbin.

Both sides continued to go goal-for-goal until the end of the first-quarter, with Wasps maintaining a slender one-goal advantage.

Mavericks started the second-quarter quickly and took the lead through strong shooting from Kadeen Corbin and supported by a series of turnovers from the home side.

The visitors were faster to every ball over the next five minutes and built a five-goal advantage.

A defensive stop from Wasps Goal Keeper Sam May swung momentum and her side capitalised with back-to-back quickfire goals to bring Wasps level at half-time.

Candappa took to the court for the third-quarter and made an immediate impact, helping the Black and Golds to three unanswered goals.

Wasps pressed their advantage over the next eight minutes – despite physical defending from the visitors attempting to disrupt the hosts’ attacking flow.

The combination of Harris and Rachel Dunn proved unmatchable, exchanging quick passes to work around the Mavericks defence and growing an eight-goal lead.

Fran Williams impressed in the final-quarter against her England teammates Kadeen Corbin and Fisher.

Mavericks surged back and were soon within four, with only Dunn’s immaculate shooting keeping Wasps in front.

But Mansfield’s side managed to hold off the visitors and come away 54-50 winners.

Wasps Netball’s next fixture will see them face Celtic Dragons at Sport Wales National Centre on Monday 18 February (7pm centre-pass).

Attendance: 1,070

Player of the match: Sophia Candappa

Q1: 15-14
Q2: 27-27
Q3: 43-36
Q4: 54-50

Wasps starting seven: GK Sam May; GD Hannah Knights; WD Amy Flanagan; C Jade Clarke; WA Bongi Msomi; GA Katie Harris; GS Rachel Dunn

Used substitutes: Sophia Candappa (WA); Fran Williams (GD)

Mavericks starting seven: GK Razia Quashie; GD Jo Trip; WD Michelle Drayne; C Sasha Corbin; WA Georgia Lees; GA Kadeen Corbin; GS George Fisher

Tickets are now available for the Vitality Netball Superleague Big Easter Weekend!

Make sure you’re following the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter for the latest news and updates!